• Faye Bradley

9 Underrated Destinations to Add to Your Travel Bucket List

From desert safaris to the northern lights, here are nine bucket list destinations we’re dreaming of right now.


Photo: Hiroki Ogawa (Wikipedia)

Chefchaouen, Morocco


Marrakech and Fez may be high on the list to visit for a Moroccan holiday, yet the region’s best-kept secret lies in Chefchaouen, the glorious ceruleum city—also known as “The Blue Pearl”. Nestled high up in Morocco’s Rif Mountains, the city is painted in all-blue (by Jewish refugees who lived here in the 1930s), offering a picturesque respite from city life. Travellers flock to this hidden gem to explore the winding streets and artisan-filled medina, where one can find traditional Moroccan spices, handcrafted goods and exquisitely hand-woven rugs. Add this destination to your bucket list for a peaceful taste of authentic Moroccan culture.


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Photo: Chris Charles

Borneo, Malay Archipelago


Being the largest island in Asia (and the third-largest in the world), it’s surprising to hear that Borneo remains an underrated, quiet escape. A rugged island in the Malay Archipelago, the region is split between three countries—Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei—and is home to white-sand beaches, lush rainforest, and mixed marine and land biodiversity. Few visit this exotic destination, making it a peaceful hideaway for outdoor enthusiasts. From scaling mountains to orangutan spotting, Borneo makes for a secluded, yet rich wildlife scene for all types of travellers.


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Photo: Katerina Kerdi

Wahiba Sands (A’Sharqiyah Sands), Oman


With its rich heritage, spectacular desert dunes, and enchanting forts, Oman is becoming increasingly popular amongst travellers for its under-the-radar appeal. Most of the country is desert, with the exception of its capital, Muscat. Venture a little further to meet the Wahiba Sands, a desert covering 12,500 square kilometers in Eastern Oman. Accessible by 4WD, the region caters to luxury and budget travellers wanting to embark on a sandy safari, including camping, camel riding, sand boarding and quad biking for the adrenaline junkies.


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Photo: Saffu

Maalifushi Island, Maldives


Putting the Maldives as a bucket list destination needs no explanation. A true paradise for water babies and sun baskers, the nation comprises 1192 islands in the Indian Ocean, southwest of Sri Lanka and India. Housing a plethora of luxury hotels and resorts, the Maldives is reputable for its five-star accommodations and services, which, when complemented with a backdrop of crystal-clear waters and pure sandy beaches, makes it even more appealing. Visit the atolls for a wellness spa break, and snorkel the waters to admire the untouched nature retained at this magnificent region.


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Photo: Rémy Penet

Thingvellir, Iceland


Defined by its dramatic landscapes and ice-cold climate, Iceland offers a fascinating range of natural beauties, from impressive volcanoes to the infamous hot springs. The dynamic cultural scene makes it a unique European destination, yet one of its most sought-after experiences is to see the Northern Lights. Drive high up the hill at Thingvellir for a prime view over the entire National Park and to take in the beauty of the Aurora.


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Photo: Agnieszka Mordaunt

Machu Picchu, Peru


One of the world’s most mysterious civilisations, Machu Picchu is set up in the Andres Mountains in Peru, deemed as an abandoned Incan citadel from the 15th century. The World Heritage Site withholds plenty of secrets, making it one of the seven Wonders of the World, and easily on many bucket lists across the globe. Many tourists come here to explore the ancient ruins, typically via a 90-minute strenuous walk—you may even see a llama or two on the way.


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Photo: Thomas Despeyroux

Provence, France


Bordering between Italy and the Mediterranean Sea, Provence is situated in southeastern France, with ideal access to the best of all climates. The historical region boasts rolling vineyards, olive groves, and lavender fields. With its rich heritage and picturesque location, Provence has reigned in the most prominent artists of our time, including Picasso, Van Gough, and Matisse, to name a few. Retrace artist trails, cruise the romantic canals, and eat bouillabaisse in France’s oldest city, Marseille, to fully experience your time at this timeless destination.


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Photo: Jason Zhao

Victoria Falls, Zambia


Thundering down into the Zambezi River, Victoria Falls is a spectacular sight to see, thus its beauty can only be truly captured in person. Situated on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, the waterfall is one of the largest in the world, with a width of 1,708 meters. Surrounded by African wildlife, this destination is also on the 7 Wonders of the World, and is an awe-inspiring, breathtaking experience for nature lovers.


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Photo: Cassie Matias

Antarctica


What was once seemingly impossible for most, has now been modified to allow tourists easier accessibility to the incredible Antarctica. The white continent is starting to open up to travellers, through sustainable expeditions led by worldly experts. Access points are available via cruise ships from Argentina, Tasmania, New Zealand and Cape Town. Expect to see waddling penguins, elegant whales, and a lot of snow.


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